Wine Talk

Snooth User: MJET

Palate prep prior to enjoying an excellent wine?

Posted by MJET, Oct 17, 2015.

As a rule of thumb I decant every wine bottle north of $50 for at least 45 mins. During the 45 mins we usually enjoy half a glass of a daily drinker to get our palate ready for the really good stuff. Thoughts on this approach would be great? What's your approach other than PNP.....  

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Replies

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 17, 2015.

Just don't put anything in your mouth like toothpaste, gum, mints, cinnamon etc.  My hole is usually ready to accept the wine, but I'll have a glass of water and or a piece of bread if there's been any stronger flavours in there.  Yes, I usually start with something anticipated to be "easier" than the good stuff.

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Reply by GregT, Oct 17, 2015.

Curious approach. Never heard of it. Decanting doesn't really have anything to do with price IMO, and it would never occur to me to prepare for drinking a better wine by drinking a worse one. It would be like going to a great restaurant but stopping to get some revolting fast food on the way to prepare for the better stuff.

Why not just drink the good wine? And when that bottle is finished, if you really must, why then why not open another bottle of something?

If I know the wine and know it needs decanting, I decant it.This week I decanted a few $16 wines because I knew they'd be much better with a few hours of decanting. Forty five minutes I can do in my glass. But if I don't know the wine, I usually don't decant, particularly if it's an older wine. Then I learn from that bottle and if it's warranted, I decant future bottles.

And yes - DV has it right - stay away from toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, etc. They're all flavored with artificial mint flavoring that's harsh, horrible, and long-lasting. Of course, I never understood gum anyway - the idea of chewing on a piece of plastic always seemed a bit peculiar.

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 17, 2015.

A good prep, or food to eat between wines is bread. Good question and good advice above.

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 17, 2015.

Greg, you have the luxury of opening more and more good bottles!  As does JD I think.  I do occasionally open three or four nice bottles for a great evening and then in the morning try not to add up the dollar amount.  What I meant was, if I have a "lesser" wine open or likely to be opened, I'll prefer to polish that off versus have a good one and then regress.  I greatly anticipate coming down and only opening good stuff!  :)

 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Oct 17, 2015.

I usually try to have a glass of water handy and of course I try not to consume anything too spicy or extreme in other ways prior to enjoying the nice wine.  Decanting is something I usually do for Cabernet Sauvignon or other bold wines like Malbec.

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Reply by MJET, Oct 18, 2015.

Thank you all for the input. 

GT-Interesting comparison of wine to fast food but I get your point.

RBA-We mostly drink big bold Cabs from CA.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 18, 2015.

Not sure that I'd use price as a differentiator for whether to decant. More like what I know about the wine's age and grape and winemaking style and condition. 45' is also a short breathing interval, whether you decant or just pop the cork and pour out a half glass (then wait, without plugging the cork back in--why is it so many people, especially in Europe, push the cork back in after any pour when they're very likely to kill the bottle in that sitting?). If you're just focusing on the wine then a baquette or similar type of bread is a good palate cleanser. I am, however, a firm believer in the French custom of 'un petit coup de blanc' to start the drinking evening. It does get the salivary juices flowing and starts things on a more balanced note.

 

When I saw the title I was envisioning comments to some effect like this:

  • 30' of cardio-vascular exercise
  • then a sauna and shower
  • then gargling with saltwater
  • then drinking a glass of spring water
  • then inhaling a hit from an oxygen bottle
  • then 30' of meditation
  • then a couple minutes of calisthenics to get the blood circulating again
  • then getting pencil and paper ready, as well as drinking partners
  • THEN taking a sip...

;-)

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Reply by GregT, Oct 19, 2015.

I was thinking something along those lines too D! Not quite as elaborate, but something serious.

Lots of stretching too - gotta stay nimble.

DV - you hit on something interesting. People often wonder about the serving order of wine if there are going to be several. Do you go young to old, old to young, etc. We used to have those comversations a lot. His point is that there is really only one progression and that is good to better. His point is that you don't want to open a new bottle and have someone say, "Man, this is crap! Wish we still had that last bottle!"

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Reply by outthere, Oct 19, 2015.

Hydrate!!!!!!!

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Reply by MJET, Oct 19, 2015.

DM-thanks for the chuckle! 

GT-that's why I open two bottles, start with half a glass of the lesser bottle, drink the good bottle and go back to the lesser bottle if we feel like it or leave it for the next day. I follow this approach 90% of the time and it works for my palate. BTW: cheese, bread and crackers are always part of the equation. 

 

 

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 19, 2015.

Forgot to mention the variation of adding an optional step between the calisthenics and paper-and-pencil-and-tasting-notes and brown-bagged blind-tasting process. Works best for now if you're in Colorado or Washington, or if in California and other states everyone has a prescription. Get some purple-dripping hydroponic and have everyone take a couple of ice bong (to protect the taste buds and throat) hits. The next couple of steps get challengingly interesting, and it becomes easier to define flavor distinctions. Conversation certainly gets livelier, too.

;-)  ;-)

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 19, 2015.

 

Here's an example of my order.  I think Greg, you might concur.  Right to left was the order.  A fairly simple BC merlot, but 2012, so very fruity just over 14%.  Then a BC Syrah which was more interesting  than the merlot.  A Silverback Vineyards (Washington) sangiovese, a Seghesio Home Ranch Zin (oh man, what a beauty) and last but not least, a two hour-decanted Amarone which was unanimously the wine of the night.  This was between three guys.  We did have shrimp, olives and baguette, followed by spaghetti and salad and lots of water.  Now, if you removed the Amarone and the merlot, the others could have been any order, but it was a good progression.  A pinot would certainly have been first.

 

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 19, 2015.

and another....also right to left

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Reply by MJET, Oct 19, 2015.

DV-If I read this correctly that means that each of you (3) had at least a bottle and a quarter of wine before getting to the WOTN? I'm not sure I would drink a bottle of other wines before getting to the perceived best wine. 

Now that's what I would call a 26.2 prep! ; )

 

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 19, 2015.

Alright, if you want to focus specifically on the order of drinking, why don't we share a little quiz, here. Mjet, list 3 batches of a half dozen wines of any vintage, color, varietal or style, then ask us how we'd order them. No?

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 20, 2015.

MJET,

I think the merlot had been opened from the day before and was at least half full.  We did have four and a half for sure.  But over about five hours.

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 20, 2015.

Some guys can handle more wines than others of course. Between 6 of us last night we must have had 7 bottles, and my wife and her friend hardly drink so the ratio was more like 4.5 to 6.5, allowing for some dumping, remaining wine, etc. Not far off from DV's 3 to 4.5 ratio, in fact about the same.

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Reply by MJET, Oct 20, 2015.

DM-The order appears fine as far as type of wine. In fact with the exception of the Merlot it looks like a really tasty grouping. My preference would be to have the known best bottle earlier in the line-up. 

I would not run a marathon to then go on a hot date with a beautiful lady...... ; ) 

 

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 20, 2015.

JD, I know you can handle your wine well ;)  I have to be careful.  I'm in the category with your wife and her friend!  I can do a bottle plus a glass.  Anymore than that and it's couch day.  My buddy Chester is about Greg T's size and is good for two bottles.

MJET,

DMucker was asking you to throw a list on here and let us put it in an order to see what kind of responses there'd be. I'll do one later, gotta go to work.

 

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 20, 2015.

So, to further the discussion, throw together three more batches of six wines of whatever sort, and ask us how we'd order them. We can then further clarify the underlying principles.

Or so was my suggestion...

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